Monday, August 4, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Art by Julene

Happy Monday!  Welcome to another edition of Artist Spotlight.  This week's artist is Julene from Art by Julene. Julene is from Arkansas and her shop is full of beautiful prints and original pastels.  Here is one of Julene's beautiful items:

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

I have been a professional full time artist since 2001. I specialize in the pastel medium, but do branch out into watercolor, and occasional acrylics. I love doing pet portraits, and have done quite a few of them! I love spending time in my studio that I have set up in my home; it's my sanctuary. With a little good music I can spend hours in there. Art is such an amazing thing. I love when my art touches someone in some way. I especially loving the reaction of people who have their pets painted, especially those that have passed. It's such a great remembrance of their family member.  That gives me great satisfaction and is very rewarding. I also love that art, and I love all art, brings beauty and joy into someone's home. I also enjoy doing art festivals where I can meet my customers face to face. I do several a year.

How did you get your start?

I started painting around 5 with lessons from my mom who was an artist and my great grandmother. They both painted in pastel. I have a pastel painting that my great grandmother did of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, probably painted in the 1920's. It's in the original frame and is still beautiful. I went into graphic arts after high school and stayed in that field for 20 years or so. I loved graphics and design work, as it was a way to make a steady paycheck and be somewhat artistic at the same time. I also feel my years in the graphic arts helped me with my fine art. I decided in 2001 to see if I could make a living off my art and it has amazed me I have done so well! I made the decision to treat my art as a business from the beginning and that has made me stay focused on the business aspect of my art, which takes about as much time as painting, and really just as important.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Spending time observing the art made by others, whether it's in an art book (which I have many), or going to art shows, or browsing the art on line. Etsy has some amazing artists that have shops from all over the world.

What has been your biggest successful moment so far?

I've had several:
  • The award I won in the Pastel Journal Magazine art competition in the Still Life and Floral category, and some of the Best in Show awards in different art competitions.
  • The article the Pastel Journal wrote about my art.
  • Getting my signature status with the Pastel Society of America, which is difficult to do.
What challenges do you face selling online?
Time mostly, of promoting my shop, and keeping my shop fresh.
What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?
Find some good teams to be associated with, I learned so much from some of the veteran Etsy shops and have made on line friends from people all over the world, which is so awesome. Spend time with the look of your shop, get active supporting others, whether it's making treasuries, or favoriting other's work, and you will usually be reciprocated. The more your product is out there and visable, the chances are you will be getting sales. Also, photograpy is so very important. Unfortunately, I have seen ; light or white shows off your product better. Also, don't give up. It took me awhile to start making somewhat steady sales, and I do have slow periods, as I know everyone does.

Thank you Julene for sharing your story and some of your beautiful artwork with us.  If you would like to see more of Julene's work:
Next week we'll share another Etsy artist.  If you'd like to be considered, please drop Zoica or myself a note via Etsy convo.
Until next time...
Thanks for stopping by,
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